IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Indigenous Legislator Nancy Henríquez James in Nicaragua

October 11, 2023

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 60/2023 on October 11, 2023, to grant precautionary measures in favor of regional legislator Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez James in Nicaragua, in the belief that she faces a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to her rights.

According to the party who requested these precautionary measures, Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez James is a Miskitu indigenous person, the chair of the YATAMA (Yapti Tasba Masraka Nanih Aslatakanka, "Children of Mother Earth United") organization, and a regional legislator representing Nicaragua's Northern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region. Her fate and whereabouts have been unknown since she was arrested on October 1, 2023, after being approached in Managua by undercover officers of the National Police. She was arrested without being told the reasons and she was not taken before a judge.

The State failed to provide information to prove that the risk factors that had been identified had been adequately mitigated.

After assessing the legal and factual allegations made in the request for these precautionary measures, the IACHR found that Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez James was at risk, considering that there had been no news about her condition or whereabouts since she was arrested on October 1, 2023, and since no information had been provided about potential measures adopted by the State to find her. Consequently, in keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the IACHR asked the State of Nicaragua to take the following action:

  1. Adopt any measures necessary to establish the whereabouts and condition of Nancy Elizabeth Henríquez James, in order to protect her rights to life and personal integrity
  2. Report on her current conditions of detention (particularly report on her place of detention and grant her lawyers and family access to her, as well as enabling any healthcare assistance she may require)
  3. Report on any actions adopted to investigate the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of these precautionary measures, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that these precautionary measures have been granted and their adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 246/23

5:15 PM